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#1 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 10:27 AM

Do story-driven games have a market?

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#2 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 10:43 AM

Final Fantasy is story-driven and does well in the market, doesn''t it?

Why does it seem that this question is a set-up of some sort?

#3 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1661

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 10:54 AM

Yes.


... oh, did you want a more substantial reply than that?

Story driven games will always appeal to the Final Fantasy and Adventure game crowds (btw, Landfish, still waiting for those zombie hordes of Squaresoft fanatics to come burn me for my gameplay comments in that other post )

I think there''s another potential, too, and that is toy / stories. You see, I think sometimes the game can get in the way of a good story that you just want to enjoy. For example, I remember cheating my way through the ending missions in Broodwar just because I wanted to see how the story ended. Grim Fandango was another example (except I wasn''t able to get past some puzzles, and this ruined my enjoyment of the story).

Now, if you take a page from software toys / sims like Simcity or Creatures, the point of play is to make choices and to see what happens. There is no victory point, and hence no need to create artificial obstacles like boss monsters and pointless random encounters. Instead, your goal is to *enjoy* a well crafted story that has hooks into the sim.

I could see this being immensely compatible with story, as you would still be making choices and enjoying some sort of interactivity, without the mechanics that are necessary for a game (namely challenge and obstruction) getting in the way.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

#4 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 11:10 AM

quote:
Original post by Wavinator

Yes.


... oh, did you want a more substantial reply than that?



I don''t know what but that Landfish is up to something. Of course he knows that FF games sell.


quote:

I could see this being immensely compatible with story, as you would still be making choices and enjoying some sort of interactivity, without the mechanics that are necessary for a game (namely challenge and obstruction) getting in the way.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...


Good point. Instead of looking forward to what happens next in a pre-written story, you''d be seeing the effects of your actions upon the story



#5 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 12:06 PM

quote:
Original post by Nazrix

I don''t know what but that Landfish is up to something.




Me?

quote:

Good point. Instead of looking forward to what happens next in a pre-written story, you''d be seeing the effects of your actions upon the story




I can''t argue with this. I''d really like to see it, although I think there''s room for both kinds of game.

#6 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 12:15 PM

quote:
Original post by Landfish
Me?



Don''t play dumb w/ me

quote:

I can''t argue with this. I''d really like to see it, although I think there''s room for both kinds of game.


I agree that there''s room for both. I played the adventure game Full Throttle and was pretty interested in what will happen next.

There was this one game Shining in the Darkness II for the Sega Genesis that was linear that I was really into also.

There''s definitely room for both, but I think anyone''s really done a story-based game that allows for a lot of variation from the player''s interactions very well yet.


#7 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 02:15 PM

I''ve tried to point out WHY to you for the past year or so now, Naz.

Can you suggest to me a game plot or even genre that would be conducive to such a story? Please god, don''t say "Fantasy..." You''re above that, I hope...

#8 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 02:26 PM

quote:
Original post by Landfish

I've tried to point out WHY to you for the past year or so now, Naz.



No, silly. The implication when I said it hasn't been done before was that I, the great and powerful Nazzlie, will do it right j/k

quote:

Can you suggest to me a game plot or even genre that would be conducive to such a story? Please god, don't say "Fantasy..." You're above that, I hope...


No, I tried playing FF3 on SNES for about 5 seconds, and got tired of it.

I'm not sure about a specific game plot, but I can tell you how I think it should be

Firstly, during a quest, when an NPC is doing something, the NPC is actually doing something.

Secondly, the player's place in that plot/quest a lot of the times will depend on previous actions...

so if an NPC is going to something that is against the law...instead of the usual making the player stop him...the NPC may ask the player to help (simulating that the player is known for doing bad stuff)...

if the player is known for doing good stuff, the player may be asked to stop him.
That's 2 sides to the same situation, and there could be more...


Thirdly, I think that one key is consistancy of the player's actions. The player will have so many actions to work w/ and the game will be set up to alter according to those actions, but the actions don't always have to have the same type of response.


Let's say there's a "give" command/action.

Like the player may have to fetch an item and "give" it to someone as part of a quest. Another situation could be that if a player "gives" money to a certain NPC it may have the effect of bribing him. Using the same command, the reaction would have a different connotation.

The beauty of the 2nd one is that the player is using the command w/out the game telling him he can.


Fourthly, finite state machines would be the main thing that tells the game how to deal w/ all this.

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I know you're gonna ask
No, I don't really know how to end a game that is dependant on little side quests floating around other than one main quest that you must finish. The "main" quests could diverge as well of course.

Edited by - Nazrix on September 12, 2000 9:50:11 PM

#9 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 02:50 PM

Well, actually, I designed a game something like this once. Never got made, you know why, I''d bet...

The way I planned on having it was that the subplots were organized into three acts.This is good for the story structure, but allows for a very modular progression. Subplots in the first act all pertained to setting up the main story, but resolved themselves in some way by the end of the first act. The possible second act subplots were determined by the first act''s consequences, and so on.

Eh?

#10 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 03:05 PM

I'd like to avoid the modular progression idea...It reminds me of Baulder's Gate (*shudder*)...no offense intended

I still don't think it has to be that way.

The way that you described it, LF, you would have more control over the story. The way I'm describing it I think I am willingly sacraficing some of the control of the story, but giving it more interaction.

Edited by - Nazrix on September 12, 2000 10:07:48 PM

#11 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 03:09 PM

Funny thing is, I recently realized that it''s not that way. As long as you have control over the tiny details, you still have an artistic control of some kind.

But actually generating story will be really hard. I''m interested in seeing what you''ve got planned. If it''s good enough, I''ll rip you off, or maybe even *gasp* hire you!

#12 Shinkage   Members   -  Reputation: 595

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 03:37 PM

"Do story driven games have a market?"
- Landfish

Do books have a market? Why would they not?

#13 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 03:41 PM

quote:
Original post by Landfish

Funny thing is, I recently realized that it's not that way. As long as you have control over the tiny details, you still have an artistic control of some kind.



When you mentioned the seperating things into acts, was that basically to resolve the neverending story problem? I just think it constricts the player more than I'd like...

Again, you've convinced me that constricting the player can be okay, but that's not what I'm trying to achieve.


quote:

But actually generating story will be really hard. I'm interested in seeing what you've got planned. If it's good enough, I'll rip you off, or maybe even *gasp* hire you!



I thought I was getting hired anyway

Aside from my not really resolving the neverending story thing, what do you think of my short list of rules about the loose plots? It seems to be a good start IMnsHO.

ack! Did I just open myself up for Landfish critisism?

Edited by - Nazrix on September 12, 2000 10:56:58 PM

#14 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 12 September 2000 - 04:01 PM

Find a way to make it adhere to a story structure and have a fullfilling ending and I''m there man.

#15 Ketchaval   Members   -  Reputation: 186

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Posted 16 September 2000 - 01:31 AM

If someone can make fun interaction based adventures, then I think they will have a good market. When I say interaction based adventures, I don''t mean puzzle based, more environment + characters + some choice, if this sort of game can be done, then there could be a large market of adults (the people who can''t be bothereed with battling 100 creatures, or solving ultra-hard single solution puzzles.

#16 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1661

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Posted 16 September 2000 - 05:45 AM

quote:
Original post by Ketchaval

If someone can make fun interaction based adventures, then I think they will have a good market. When I say interaction based adventures, I don''t mean puzzle based, more environment + characters + some choice, if this sort of game can be done, then there could be a large market of adults (the people who can''t be bothereed with battling 100 creatures, or solving ultra-hard single solution puzzles.


This is a good point. It seems that for a lot of adults there is a stigma to "playing" (at least here in the US). Playing is something children do. But if "game" is de-emphasized in favor of story, and the experience is about change and exploration, then you can probably put in mature content that will keep them interested.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...




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